94-year-old Pine River woman hooks shark in Florida
Carol Schmidtbauer said the shark was her most exciting catch ever
PINE RIVER — For most of her life, 94-year-old Carol Schmidtbauer, of Pine River, has been an angler.
"We always went out fishing," Schmidtbauer said. " We never had a boat, but we caught fish."
In April, she had the chance to spend time away from Minnesota's persistent winter gloom on a trip to visit her grandson in Cape Coral, Florida. While there, they fished every day, and Schmidtbauer hooked into the catch of a lifetime.
"I can't explain how it made me feel," she said. "Lively. My grandson said I got a shark and that just didn't seem right."
After a long fight, Schmidtbauer said they spotted a several foot long gray shape in the water. Up until this time the boat had been landing more familiar fish.
"We were having a good time fishing. We got some trout," Schmidtbauer said. "And a lot of what we might call bullheads, but they called them catfish."
At that time they hadn't caught anything of real size. Then she reeled in the shark.
"We couldn't bring it out of the water," Schmidtbauer said. "They're protected."
I can't explain how it made me feel. Lively. My grandson said I got a shark and that just didn't seem right.
They got it right next to the boat and her grandson used a long device to follow the line into the shark's mouth, and with a twist the hook popped out and the shark swam away. To date, she said the shark was the biggest thing she ever caught and a feather in her cap.
Schmidtbauer spent the whole week with her family in Florida. They fished every day. On the boat she said they watched dolphins and looked at manatees. When they weren't on the boat, she browsed the antiques.
Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.